Along the Grapevine

Spruce Tip Gravlax



Last year at about this time I collected spruce tips, the new growth found on the end of the tree’s branches. I ground and dried some with coarse salt and some with sugar as described in this post. I have since used these ingredients in marinades, baking and even a salty caramel ice cream.

The problem with foraging is that some things are only available for a few days, and by the time I collect them, make a recipe and post it, it can be too late for anyone to use until the following year. So before the tips make their appearance, I decided to show another way to use this fleeting but worthwhile flavouring.

Having recently been treated to some gravlax (cured salmon) made with juniper berries a friend made, I thought of trying it with my preserved tips from last year. I followed my friend’s method for curing the salmon, substituting spruce for the juniper.

Spruce Tip Gravlax


1.5 lbs (approx.) salmon fillet with skin on

3 Tbsp spruce tip salt

3 Tbsp spruce tip sugar

1 tsp black pepper


Mix together the salt, sugar and pepper. Cover the bottom of a dish with half the mixture. Place the salmon fillets on top skin side down and sprinkle the rest on top. Give it a little rub. Cover with plastic wrap and place a weight on top to press it down. A plate with something heavy on it works fine. I used a large stone. Place it in the refrigerator, and each day for five days turn the salmon. On the fifth day, uncover it and either wipe off the excess salt mixture or run it under cold water and pat dry.

Slice it very thin with a sharp knife. It will keep in the fridge for about a week and can be frozen.




I served them on crackers with cucumbers to bring to Angie’s Fiesta Friday 66 this week, co-hosted this week by Anna @ Anna International.Β 



Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

30 thoughts on “Spruce Tip Gravlax

  1. So true about posting about foraging after the window is closed! That’s so smart to make a post and keep it until the perfect foraging opportunity opens again!


  2. We live in a street lined with spruce trees! I should go look for some spruce tips to try. I love that you foraged them!


  3. Wow this looks great. I love gravlax. I honestly didn’t know that spruce tips were edible. Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All pine and spruce are edible, but some taste better than others. Spruce is my favourite, and I think blue spruce is best if you can find it.


  4. Such a fantastic idea! I always learn something new coming over to your blog πŸ™‚


  5. I love learning how people use natural ingredients like this and can see how they would deliciously flavor this salmon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had no idea spruce was edible either! Thank you so much for telling us all about it! My parent’s garden is full of spruce trees, I shall have to visit when they are ready and, er, ‘borrow’ some tips!
    Thank you so much for bringing this unusual and interesting post to Fiesta Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Always educational and inspiring Hilda. I thought of you often this week as my son who has a summer job with a landscaping company kept bringing home onion grass weeds for me to cook with. I dig them out all the time and throw them away in our own yard! So far I’ve made him salmon cakes, quesadillas and a topping for chili with his prize. I though, “Hilda would be proud of me!” Those things smell so strong!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That sounds like a pretty cool summer job. I hope you’re enjoying the refuse he brings you too! You should write a post on some of your recipes. They sound so blog-worthy.


  9. Home made gravlax is interesting enough, but spruce tip salt and sugar!? Wow, I didn’t know you can use them for flavoring!


  10. I don’t even know where you get all these amazing ideas… This sounds delicious. I would never EVER have thought of it. Seriously, where you do you get these ideas???


  11. I never knew you could eat spruce tips! Nor how to make gravlax…always learning πŸ™‚


  12. I had to go outside and taste them! Slightly sour and lemony but also a little bitter at the end but not bad at all! I wasn’t sure if I had fir or spruce but I found out both are edible. I think I have spruce since the leaves roll easily between my fingers (rounded). I’m excited!!


  13. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #67 - Fiesta Friday

  14. Very tasty, healthy and interesting recipe Hilda! It’s all new to me too, and inspiring me to think about spruce tips and other natural flavourings! Thank you! πŸ™‚


  15. Pingback: Gravlax and Spring Greens Pasta | Along the Grapevine

  16. You are so inventive! I love the way you use your foraged treasures to make what sounds like absolutely delicious dishes! I am not sure if I can find any spruce but will for sure give the salmon a go. Despite having grown up in Sweden where gravlax is a staple I never quite mastered it but your salmon looks yummy! πŸ™‚


    • Thanks Petra. I don’t think I can buy any gravlax here, so there is a greater incentive to make my own. I was very happy with how it turned out and will be making it again – maybe with different flavours for the fun of it.


  17. I love gravadlax and have been dying to make my own someday – your recipe sounds amazing!


  18. Pingback: roasted apricot and spruce tip cakes | ten.times.tea

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